Title: Ozu and the poetics of cinema / David Bordwell. Publication Ozu, Yasujirō , -- -- Criticism and interpretation. PDF: Link to full PDF [mb ]. Title: Ozu and the poetics of cinema / David Bordwell. Author: Bordwell, David. Collection: Your PDF download will start shortly Problems with the download ?. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (David Bordwell, ).pdf - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online.
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[新好莱坞电影]compwalsoihassre.tk - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. British Film Institute Princeton University Press, pp. Over the last two decades, Yasujiro Ozu has won international recognition as a. [Chapter 3 | Three Dimensions of Film Narrative / 2 mb pdf] Poetics of Cinema ( ) gathers several published articles, one going back as far as the This has led me to examine national cinema traditions (in my work on Dreyer, Ozu, and.
Reprint of Ph. The Films of Carl-Theodor Dreyer. Berkeley: University of California Press. New York: Columbia University Press.
Narration in the Fiction Film.
Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema. Princeton: Princeton University Press. The Cinema of Eisenstein. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. He'd like to stay, but it's already time to go home.
Back in his cell, 12 he's astonished to discover that traveling has only made things worse. He's even more bored than before and now his boredom has ontological weight.
We will call this dangerous new sentiment melancholy. Now every trip out of the cell, every apparition of his virtual friend, will make his melancholy more intense.
He still does not believe in these apparitions, but his lack of belief is contagious. Soon the cell itself, his brother monks, and even communion with God becomes as an illusion. His world has been emptied by entertainment.
Some one thousand two hundred years later, in France, Blaise Pascal, in the chapter of his Pensees devoted to entertainment, warns" All the evil in men comes from one th ing and one thing alone : their inability to remain at rest in a room" - be it for no more than an hour.
So perhaps boredom is a good thing. What kind of boredom are we talking about? Take a classic example. A fair number of human beings who have passed the age of forty and who decline to take sedatives find themselves waking up every night around 4 AM. Most enjoy two activities: remembering things past and thinking ahead to what must be accomplished the following day. In Milanese dialect there is even a word to descr ibe the first of these activities : calendare.
Perhaps Bergson, who tended to doubt the importance of a present which was always seemed to vanish in the ebb and flow of past and future time, would have looked into this privileged moment when past and future part like the waters of the Red Sea before an intense feeling of being here and now, in active rest. This privileged moment, which early theologians called "Saint Gregory's paradox," occurs when the soul is both at rest and yet turns on itself like a cyclone around its eye, while events in the past and the future vanish in the distance.
If I propose this modest defence of ennui, it is perhaps because the films I am interested in can sometimes provoke this sort of boredom. Let us return to films that are not boring.
Films provoked by the noonday demon. Prisoner of the protagonist's will, we are subjected to the various stages making up a 13 conflict of which he, the protagonist, is at once guardian and captive. In the end we are released and given back to ourselves, a little sadder than before.
There is only one notion in our heads, which is to go another journey as soon as we can. I believe it was Dr. Johnson who said there were two kinds of mental illnesses: melancholy and enthusiasm. After examining the case of Christopher Smart, enthusiastic author of a new ending to the Bible, he decided that the one could cure the other.
Against melancholia, he recommended enthusiasm. You w ill have noticed that reference has frequently been made to the will. It is possible that central conflict theory is amalgam of classical dramatic theory and Schopenhauer. At least, that is the claim of its inventors, Ibsen and Bernard Shaw. Out of all this arise stories which feed on instances of will, in which wanting to do something active will and wanting someone passionate will are often confused.
Wanting and loving are part of a single web of action and decision, confrontation and choice. How you love does not matter. What matters is how you obtain what you want.
In the labyrinth of major and minor options, of daily action and passion, our kidnappers always choose the shortest path. They want all conflicts to come under the one major conflict. Central conflict theorists sometimes argue that there are no works of theater, film, or narrative without central conflict. What is true is that this theory is irrefutable, i.
In daily life's subtle tissue of purposeful but inconsequential actions, unconscious decisions, and accidents, I fear that central conflict theory is not much more than what epistemology describes as "a predatory theory": a system of ideas which devours and enslaves any other ideas that might restrain its activity. Ever though we know the foundations of central conflict theory were laid by Shaw and Ibsen , and even if Aristotle is invoked as its patron, I believe that its current acceptation draws it much closer to two rather minor philosophical fictions.
One is Maine de Biran's realisme volitif, or willful realism, in which the world is constructed by collisions that affect the subject of knowledge, such that the world is no more than the sum of its collisions - which is like describing one's holidays as a series of car 14 accidents though I'm sure that if this system were modified along the lines of Leibniz's reforms of Descartes' dynamics, the results would be stunning.
The other philosophical fiction implicit in central conflict theory reminds me of Engels' Dialectic of Nature, according to which the world, even a peaceful landscape or a dead leaf, is a sort of battlefield. A flower is a battlefield where thesis and antithesis fight, looking for a common synthesis. I would say that both these theories share the same thrust, which one might call "a presumption of hostility.
The principle of constant hostility in film stories results in another difficulty: it makes us take sides. The exercise of this kind of fiction leads often to a kind of ontological vacuum. Secondary objects and events but why call them secondary? All attention is focused on the combat of the protagonists. The voracious appetite displayed by this predatory concept reaches far beyond theory. It has become a normative system. The products which comply with this norm have not only invaded the world but have also imposed their rules on most of the centers of audiovisual production across the planet.
With their own theologians, inquisitors, and police force. For about the last three or four years, whether in Italy or in France, fictions which do not comply with these rules have been considered unacceptable.
And yet there is no strict equivalence between stories of conflict and everyday life. Of course, people fight and compete, but competition alone cannot contain the totality of the event which involves it.
I sometimes discuss the trilogy of election, decision, and confron tation that configures an act, which is then forced into a unified conflict system.
I will not step too far into the labyrinth that American philosophers of act ion such as Davidson, Pears, and Thomson have opened up for us. Just a quick tour so I can communicate the astonishment which overcomes me every time I attempt to approach the problem. First, election.
Election is choice. A choice between what? A person who must make a' choice is in a position where he or she has no choice but to choose. The person cannot turn around and go home or there would be no story. In addition, there are a limited number of options to choose from and they have been pre-ordained. Social practice? Is my choice predetermined? If someone - say God - has determined my choice, between how many options has he chosen? It's a tough question. I remember a problem in game theory in which universal suffrage elections had to be organized with an infinite number of voters, candidates, and political parties, in an infinite world, giving all of them winning strategies, such that they all in fact win I d.
Tarski and Solar Petit, on the applications of S. Ulam's "measurable cardinal". Let us remember that the supercomputer which Molina calls God knows more or less whether we are bound for heaven or hell; but since infinity is only potential and never actual, His knowledge only pertains to the actual state of things. If I am condemned to hell and yet I use my free will to change my life and thus become a good person, God will immediately know that I am saved according to ciencia media, or "median knowledge".
In the opposite instance, people who act without thinking and thus skip the stage of election or choice, in effect choose a posteriori: A man gives the wall a kick and breaks his leg, congratulates himself and says what I've done is well done because I did it; the sovereignty of my action is reason enough.
Which is exactly how Don Quixote behaves. He progresses as he goes. He follows the logic of his nonsense fa razon de fa sinrazori. A curious Muslim variation on the theme of choice can be expressed in the following way: in order to choose, I must first choose to choose. And in order to choose to choose I must first choose to choose to choose.
When there is a choice, I can make this choice into a kind of bottomless pit.
Let us suppose that God is at the bottom of it all; then in the final analysis, it is God's choice. And if the choice is bad , it is because God wills it so. So why choose? Another more practical problem is the question of how many options we need to choose from.
Let's say we have two. Suppose that in our story, at the end of each episode, there is again a choice between two options, and each choice is a fresh one, independent of any global strategy. In order for us to want to keep on following our protagonist, how many mistakes can he make?
In a particularly fascinating essay, the pigeon specialist C. Martinoya proposed a description of the ritual cycle of pigeon's mistakes. Instead of altering this disposition - as an ordinary pigeonologist would have done - he kept it as was and thus was in a pos ition to observe that though pigeons very quickly learn to find the food, occasionally, according to quanti fiable cycles, they check to see if by any chance there is not some food in the empty window.
Having noticed this in pigeons, Pro fessor Martinoya tried the same experiment with a group of his colleagues from the University of Bochum. To his surprise, they behaved exactly as the pigeons did.
When he asked his colleagues why they behaved in this way, they were unable to say, except for one of them who made the vaguely philosophical response, "just to make sure the world is still in place. Let us be pessimistic and assume the protagonist constantly makes the wrong choices. What kind of a sto ry will this produce? Will the ending be sad? Will it have an ending at all? Will the story be circular? In my opinion, we will have a comedy on our hands, because the spectator will already know the protagonist's choice, and this choice will make him laugh.
Wh at about a story without any choices at all? Not even a refusal of choice like Hamlet. Let me suggest a few examples of nochoice stories which come to mind. He tells his soldiers not to move until he gives the order. Several hours go by. Th e king says nothing. He seems almost asleep, or at least absent, miles away from the battlefield. The enemy attack. In the face of defeat, on e of the courtiers goes to the king and says "Lord, they are coming towards us.
It is time to die.
His attitude is considered a kind of heroism, a form of mysti c heroism. He becomes a myth, and also a model. A few centuries later, during the Los Angeles Olympics, a great Portuguese athlete is leading the ten thousand meter race. Suddenly he quits. This gesture is interpreted as heroic by his people. He returns home to great acclaim and the President of the Republic at the time calls him "a worthy successor to Dom 17 Sebastiao ," Another example, closer to home, is Bartleby, the eponymous hero of Melville's tale.
His leitmotif, "I would prefer not to," became the slogan of my generation. In this bestiary of nondecisions, we must include Buddha, or at least my favorite incarnation of him, Ji Gong, the so-called "crazy monk. We can add to this list those American and Soviet political scientists who developed the abstentionist philosophy known as conflict resolution.
In this theory, if I am not misled by the contradictory principles of the opposing political theories which have contaminated it, intervention comes before the conflict has already begun, so as to neutralize it.
Finally, to complete this anthology, I'd like point out a strange discipline called ethnomethodology invented by Professors Garfinkel, Le Cerf, and others, and in particular one practical example. A pupil asks his teacher for advice: "I'm a Jew. Can I marry a non-Jewish girl?
He knows, before the conversation takes place, that he is going to say no to the first five questions, yes to the next three, and so on, regardless of what the questions are. The pupil must comment on each of the teacher's responses. His sixth question is followed by the following comment: "So whatever I do I must not introduce my non-Jewish fiancee to my parents.
But we can conceive a more dramatic example. The pupil asks "Should I kill my father? Then the pupil says "But if I kill him I will never be able to bring him on holiday to Rome?
Later, in an attempted summary of Freud's outlook, he touches on the central problem: 1. Our mind contains semi-independent structures which do not blindly follow the decisions of the decider let's call it the central government.
These regions of the mind tend to organize themselves as independent powers, or independent minds with their own structures, connected to the central subject by a single thread.
Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (David Bordwell, 1988).pdf
In the esoteric Chinese treatise entitled Secret of the Golden Flower, an anonymous author illustrates the four steps in meditation with a drawing showing a monk meditating; by sheer force of concentration he divides into five small meditating monks, after which each of the five divides in turn into four new monks. These semiindependent substructures are capable of taking power over the whole and of making major decisions.
Why not think of it as a Republic in which a political party of small monks wins an election and takes decisions against the interests of - and above all beyond the comprehension of - that larger monk which is the Republic of the self?
Another element of conflict theory is the question of decision. The first problem I have with this notion is in the very words. Is drama conceivable without central points of decision? Personally, I have sought to work with stories, fairly abstract ones I admit, using what might be called a pentaludic model. Put more simply, I consider that my protagonists are like a herd of dice just as one says "a herd of buffalo".
The number of sides to the dice varies from herd to herd - it can be zero, six, or infinite - but in each herd this number is always the same. The herds play five different games. They compete against other herds; and in this game the rules of central conflict theory are often observed.
But the same herd will sometimes playa game of chance which is quite natural for dice ; and in a third variation, the dice also feign the emotions of fear, anger, and joy, donning disguises and playing at scaring each other or making each other laugh.
A fourth game is called vertigo: the aim is to strike the most dangerous pose, threatening the survival of the entire herd. A fifth game might best be called the long-term wager. Luckily, within each of the small dice is a kind of magnetic powder which encourages the entire dice population to converge on the same point.
So in this example, will is divided into three elements: ludic behavior, trickery, and magnetic attraction. In each game, the herds embark on a long and erratic journey, but sooner or later they meet at a single point. As this point approaches, the frequency and intensity of the games increase. Now, let's say that this galaxy of herds converging on a single magnetic pole is on the point of taking a decision.
End of conceptual simulation. Let us go back to a normal or normalized story. The protagonist is getting ready to act. He is going to make a decision.
Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema
He has weighed the pros and the cons, he knows , as far as possible, the effect of his decision. Unfortunately, the protagonist is a thirteenthcentury Arab who would not dream of making a decision without first consulting the Treatise on Cunning. He knows that the first object of any decision is to allow one to submit to God's will. Decisions must be taken, as it were, by imitating God.
But God created the world using hi la, or cunning. Hila is not the quickest means to an end, but it is the most subtle: never direct, never obvious, because God cannot choose too obvious a path.
He cannot, for instance, force his creatures to do anything. He cannot take any decision which might provoke conflict. He must use baram, or detour : artifice kayd , mystification khad , trap makr.
Let's imagine a Western based on these principles. The hero lays traps, never actually gets in a fight, but does all he can to submit to the will 20 of God. One day, he finds himself face to face with the bad guy let's call him the sheriff in the main street.
The bad guy says, "You held the bank up and you're going to pay for it. How can you be sure I held up the bank? Anyway, what is new in what you've just said? And in what way do your comments bring us closer to God? Moore's would have been. The point of this digression is to say that the criteria according to which most of the characters in today's movies behave are drawn from one particular culture that of the USA. In this culture, it is not only indispensable to make decisions but also to act on them, immediately not so in China or Irak.
The immediate consequence of most decisions in this culture is some kind of conflict untrue in other cultures.
Different ways of thinking deny the direct causal connection between a decision and the conflict which may result from it; they also deny that physical or verbal collision is the only possible form of conflict. Unfortunately, these other societies, which secretly maintain their traditional beliefs in these matters, have outwardly adopted Hollywood's rhetorical behavior.
So another consequence of the globalization of central conflict theory - a political one - is that, paradoxically, "the American way of life" has become a lure, a mask: unreal and exotic, it is the perfect illustration of the fallacy that Whitehead dubbed "misplaced concreteness. The reasons for this synchronicity have been abundantly discussed: politicians and actors have become interchangeable because they both use the same media, attempting to master the same logic of representation and practicing the same narrative logic - for which, let's remember, the the golden rule is that events do not need to be real but realistic Borges once remarked that Madame Bovary is realistic, but Hitler isn't at all.
I heard a political commentator praise the Gulf War for being realistic, meaning plausible, while criticizing the war in former Yugoslavia as unrealistic, because irrational. Thomson attempts to define the instances of action. With an irresistible sense of humor, she attacks the assassination of Robert Kennedy with a barrage of algebraic formulas. Her analysis touches on bungled actions intended acts which never take place , including a case in which a crime is perturbed, or provoked, by a harmonica concert - if the harmonica itself is not perhaps the crime.
I quote: "If you shoot a man, is your aiming of your gun before firing it a part of shooting him? I think so. It certainly seems as if your aiming a gun at your victim plays a part in your getting him shot. Now suppose that Sirhan did paus e between aiming and firing. This would mean, as we saw , that his shooting of Kennedy was a discontinuous event. For there was no part of the shooting that was occurring at any time during that pause.
They may even contradict each other, or be incidental to the main action - as if the sudden interest an assassin might display in the victim's shirt had nothing to do with the assassination. Everyone knows Zeno's breakdown of the act of walking into infinite components. For years I have dreamed of filming events that could move from one dimension into another, and that could be broken down into images occupying different dimensions, all with the sole aim of being able to add, multiply, or divide them, and reconstitute them at will.
If one accepts that each figure can be reduced to a group of points - each point being at a particular unique distance from the others - and that from this group of points, figures can be generated in two, three, or n dimensions, it is then equally acceptable that adding or subtracting dimensions can change the logic of an image and therefore its expressivity, without modifying the image altogethe r.
I don't mean so called difficult films, because they have been discussed and commented on at length. I mean films like Rambo, or Flash Gordon.
Will people be able to recognize the hero from one shot to the next? A good viewer of the future will immediately recognize that between shot 24 and 25 Robert de Niro has had pasta for lunch, while between shot and he has clearly had chicken for supper; but this disruption of continuity through excessive culinary attention will make it impossible for him to follow the plot.
A few weeks ago, Professor Guy Scarp etta informed me that his students at the university de Reims are unab le to understand a film by Alfred Hitchcock, perhaps because the things which we take for granted and which help us to understand a film are undergoing rapid change, along with our critical values.
One last observation concerning points of decision. Can a decision contain other, smaller decisions? Obviously, it can conceal other decisions, it can be hypocritical or irresponsible, but can it be sub-div ided into smaller units? Even if I do not believe in the consistency of the problem, I cannot help thinking that when I make a decision - for instance the decision to come here among you the choice is there to hide a series of other decisions which have noth ing to do with it.
My decision is a mask, behind which there is disorder, apeiron. To be honest, I had decided not to come here. Yet here I am. I know people will bring me down to earth and say such a film is either just not possible or, at any rate, not commercial.
But I'd like to point out that a film dissolve is a way of juxtaposing two three-dimensional images, which, as Russell pointed out, can even form a six-dimensional image. Any film, however ordinary, is infinitely complex.
A reading that follows the storyline may make it seem simple, but the film itself is invariably more complicated.
He seeks out his former home, burnt down in the air raids. The streets seem at once familiar and strange.
He recognizes a street, a few trees, even a cafe, then confidently rounds a corner expecting to find his old home. Instead he comes face to face with a blank wall, for here the planners have omitted a couple of streets, among them the one he is looking for.
The reconstruction of Warsaw was a great success in everyone's eyes. Only a few, in truth a very few, were disappointed. It is possible that only a single person was struck with this disappointment: the last survivor of a street the planners forgot.
Every time I read or re-read some dream-like or nightmar ish description of utopia, I have a feeling that, like the reconstruction of Warsaw for Brandys' character, it is relevant to everyone but me. Happy versions like Sir Thomas More's Utopia just don't rejoice me, and frightening ones like the biblical Apdcalypse don't seem worthy of my panic.
Th is is probably because - to use a utopian turn of phrase - they don't seem to exclude anybody at all in general, though in fact they exclude everyone in particular. A more recent tradition claims that the death of socialism has made utopia redundant. On the contrary, I believe the contemporary world is terrifying precisely because it is such fertile 25 ground for utopias. Multinational corporations are springing up all over: organizations that have no origin, no place, utopian, without future, even without any particular raison detre.
One moment they're making candy, the next transatlantic liners, and within a week, transatlantic liners full of candy. Some of them are designed to make money; others, like the UN Forces, run at a loss. Some are essentially prophylactic; others, like the Church, militate in favor of Goodness, and still others -like a certain Hollywood - in favor of Wickedness. All are utopian, all believe that happiness is the orchestration of attitudes deemed good by the opinion polls.
As far as these new utopias are concerned, a happy man is a man who says he's happy and is believed. Why is he believed? Because his happiness is explicable: it 's source is a shirt, or a perfume, or a fire, or a story we've just been told in pictures.
Professor Arnold Schwarz enegger has explained that from now on Hollywood will only produce stories that human beings can adore. Idol stories, prefigured in surefire scripts and directed according to rules that have the force of law.
By their very definition, stories for everyone don't exist in any particular place: they are utopian. In order to manufacture such tales, we are inventing, manufacturing, and experimenting with utopian images - placeless, rootless images. For the time being these pictures still use stars as models - like Mister Schwarz enegger. Soon any connection with preexisting people and things will be superfluous.
I would like to discuss such utopian images. In order to do so, however, I propose to use rhetorical techniques borrowed from ancient Chinese sophists, from the era of the Warring Kingdoms, before the Empire for instance, Li Si, from the third century B. These sophists believed that in order to convince people of the gravity or importance of a particular problem, the thing to do was not to dismember it, or break it down into its component syllogisms, but to surround it with rhetorical figures.
For example, I would not say that it is unjust to expel foreigners from France, but rather : you who so love Arabian jewels and Colombian coffee, how can you claim that everything foreign is detestable?
I will commence my investigations into utopian images with a detail from my own personal history. Some thirty years ago, this forest of the night became the meeting-place for a modest group of about one hundred students who enjoyed behaving like monsters in the visions of the famous Flemish painter, Hieronymous Bosch.
The students gathered around the tables in the hope of forgetting the lies they'd been taught during the day at the university, and in between conceptual demolitions they occasionally came to devise and allow themselves to be seduced by various contradictory utopias. Here I wish to recall three of these tables. Each resembled something out of Ramon Llull's emblematic novels - allegorical representations of utopia.
They all aimed to represent the entire world. The first table was situated between the soda fountain and the bar, on the left-hand side. A narrative film exhibits a total form consisting of materials — subject matter, themes — shaped and transformed by overall composition and stylistic patterning. Any inquiry into the fundamental principles by which a work in any representational medium is constructed can fall within the domain of poetics.
What are the principles according to which films are constructed and by means of which they achieve particular effects? How and why have these principles arisen and changed in particular empirical circumstances? Poetics does not put at the forefront of its activities phenomena such as the economic patterns of film distribution, the growth of the teenage audience, or the ideology of private property. The poetician may need to investigate such matters, and indeed many others, but they become relevant only in the light of more properly poetic issues.They are part of our childhood memories, or at least of our cultural background.
Ever though we know the foundations of central conflict theory were laid by Shaw and Ibsen , and even if Aristotle is invoked as its patron, I believe that its current acceptation draws it much closer to two rather minor philosophical fictions.
They were anti-utopian, or rather they feared a utopian world where virtual images, voices, and faces would one day replace the real. This automatically sets me off from some of my peers.
Tati Directors: France National cinemas: Ozu Yasujiro and Mizoguchi Kenji are opposed in many respects; for one thing, Ozu has a rich sense of humor and Mizoguchi displays virtually none. On the contrary, I believe the contemporary world is terrifying precisely because it is such fertile 25 ground for utopias. From now on, there are two paintings to be copied.